Leslie Swartz is a distinguished professor of psychology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He is also visiting professor of psychology at University of Johannesburg, and global advisor to the Institute for Culture and Society at University of Western Sydney, Australia. He trained as a clinical psychologist at University of Cape Town, where he earned his PhD focussing on culture issues in mental health care in South Africa. He continues to work in the field of mental health, but is also interested in questions of disability rights and access, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa.
He was founding editor-in-chief of African Journal of Disability, which is now indexed on SCOPUS, and serves as associate editor of Transcultural Psychiatry and of International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. Amongst his research and consultancy work has been his period as Lead Research Partner to the Southern African Federation of the Disabled, which represents disabled people’s organizations in ten southern African countries.
He publishes widely, and his most recent book is the coedited volume The Palgrave Handbook of Disability and Citizenship in the Global South (coedited with Brian Watermeyer and Judith McKenzie, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). He is interested in disseminating professional ideas in accessible ways; to this end he has published a memoir about disability entitled Able Bodied: Scenes from a Curious Life (Zebra Press), and he has worked on a number of projects with photography and other visual media (see, for example, www.disabilityandsexualityproject.com). He is currently working on a second memoir, dealing with the politics of care and dying.